Monday, December 23, 2013

Why is oral hygiene so important during orthodontics?

Crest/Oral b says:
Proper oral care isn't just about making your teeth look pretty. It's the key to avoiding common dental problems like gingivitis, tartar, and demineralization. Because thorough oral hygiene is more difficult with braces, patients who wear braces are more prone to these issues than those not wearing them. These dental problems are unpleasant enough on their own, but if left untreated they can also turn into more serious oral health issues. Plus, they can prolong your time in braces. In severe cases of gum disease or other oral health problems, the orthodontist may even have to remove the braces, wait for the gums and mouth to heal, and then reapply them.
We know that caring for your teeth can be a challenge when you have braces. This means that focusing on oral hygiene and understanding dental issues is more important than ever before. It's also more important to choose hygiene products that will help care for your teeth – things like Oral-B power toothbrush heads made specially for braces and floss threaders can maneuver around your wires, and toothpastes that kill germs in spaces between your brackets. They can't do all the work for you, but they can certainly help.
Taking good care of your braces is essential for avoiding complications while wearing them and ending up with great-looking teeth once they are removed. No matter how much money, pain, and time you've already invested in your braces, proper oral care is still the key to walking away with a beautiful, healthy smile.
This video shows proper technique for cleaning your teeth while in braces:
We are dedicated to providing our patients a pleasant and efficient experience while in braces with our office! However, patients do find orthodontics painful and uncomfortable when proper oral hygiene is not performed due to inflammation and plaque build up. The total amount of time you spend in braces can be greatly affected by oral hygiene. If you are concerned about your technique or would like to make sure you are being effective, don’t hesitate to ask your orthodontist or dentist.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Why do I need to wear retainers?

One of the great questions we get before, during and after orthodontics is “why do I have to wear retainers”.

In short, the answer is to prevent all the hard work you put into your mouth for the last 18-24 months from changing or moving. Teeth have memory and are programmed to revert back to what they have known without being “told” where to stay- that is where the retainer comes into play. In our office, retainers should be worn only at night but consistently to prevent movement. After a couple years of no tooth movement then we switch our patients to wearing them 2-3 times a week. The one thing that is constant is that if you have had orthodontic tooth movement you will need to be committed to some type of retainer for the rest of your life. We use a combination of removable and bonded (or glued) retainers for our patients. We have several patients that have had orthodontics as a child but never wore their retainers so as an adult we are putting them back in braces to correct the tooth movement.
One famous example of the importance of wearing retainers is Faith Hill- she had braces as a child and did not wear he retainers so as an adult at the 2013 Grammy’s she was in full braces!


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Flossing VS Waterpik- The great debate

We get asked frequently by our patients why they can’t just use a waterpik instead of flossing while in braces? There are many very passionate opinions as to why floss is better than a waterpik. In our orthodontic practice.....we prefer flossing over the waterpik because manual removal plaque is more effective than “flushing water” between the teeth. We do advocate the waterpik in situations where the patient is brushing and flossing properly and wants to add this tool to the “Oral hygiene toolbox” to aid in more effective plaque removal. 
Here is what the American Dental Association has to say about flossing:
Flossing is an essential part of any oral health care routine. The American Dental Association recommends flossing at least once a day to achieve optimal oral health. By flossing daily, you help remove plaque from the areas between your teeth where the toothbrush can't reach. This is important because plaque that is not removed by brushing and flossing can eventually harden into calculus or tartar. Flossing also helps prevent gum disease and cavities.
The most important thing about flossing is to do it. Pick a time of day when you can devote an extra couple of minutes to your oral hygiene. People who are too tired at the end of the day may benefit from flossing first thing in the morning or flossing after lunch.

And don’t forget, children need to floss too! You should be flossing your child’s teeth as soon as he or she has two teeth that touch. Because flossing demands more manual dexterity than very young children have, children are not usually able to floss well by themselves until they are age 10 or 11.

If you find flossing difficult, consider a different flossing method. People who have difficulty handling dental floss may prefer to use another kind of interdental cleaner such as a wooden plaque remover, dental pick or pre-threaded flosser. Ask your dentist how to use them properly to avoid injuring your gums. It could be that you simply need to try another type of dental floss—waxed, unwaxed, thick or comfort floss. Stick with it and you’ll have adopted a healthy hobby for life.

 Here are some tips on how to properly floss your teeth:

Flossing diagram 1Flossing diagram 2Flossing diagram 3Flossing diagram 4

Break off about 18 inches of floss and wind most of it around one of your middle fingers. Wind the remaining floss around the same finger of the opposite hand. This finger will take up the floss as it becomes dirty.

Hold the floss tightly between your thumbs and forefingers.

Guide the floss between your teeth using a gentle rubbing motion. Never snap the floss into the gums. 

When the floss reaches the gum line, curve it into a C shape against one tooth. Gently slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth.

Hold the floss tightly against the tooth. Gently rub the side of the tooth, moving the floss away from the gum with up and down motions. Repeat this method on the rest of your teeth. Don’t forget the back side of your last tooth. 

Talk to your dentist about what types of oral care products will be most effective for you. Look for products that contain the ADA Seal of Acceptance so you know they have been evaluated for safety and effectiveness.

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

We often get asked by our patients “what is the problem with drinking juice- it’s healthier than soda isn’t it?” We wanted to find out exactly what the verdict is on juice and oral health so we did some homework.......Here is what had to say about juice and its affects on oral health:

Fruit juice is often touted as a means of benefiting from concentrated amounts of all the nutrients available in fruit, such as vitamin C and antioxidants. Drinking fruit juice can help to lower the chances of heart disease, cancer and even Alzheimer's disease. In some cases, such as with cranberries, the juice is more palatable than the berries themselves. However, fruit juice is not entirely safe and beneficial, and can harm your teeth in different ways.
Fruit Juice Contains Sugar
Sugar is well known as a substance that is harmful to teeth. It is consumed by bacteria in the mouth and converted to an acid which wears away teeth and causes cavities. Dental plaque is the buildup of these bacteria on the tooth surface. The bacteria can also irritate the gums, leading to gum disease which can weaken teeth and eventually cause them to fall out. Juice often has added sugar, in which case it is known in the US as a juice cocktail or juice drink. Even pure fruit juices contain large amounts of naturally occurring sugars which can affect teeth. In fact, a pure fruit juice may contain more sugar than a soda.

Fruit Juice Wears Away Enamel

The enamel on your teeth is more fragile than it seems. While it is affected by the acid released by mouth bacteria, it can be worn down even faster by the acids in common fruit juices. Fruit juices, such as lime or cranberry, can be more acidic than vinegar and when consumed excessively, can wear down tooth enamel over time, leading to cavities, sensitive teeth and eventual tooth loss. Fruit juice is often used as a substitute for sodas for children, in the belief that the juice will cause less tooth decay. But in fact, it will often cause more damage as it is more acidic (although the juice is far more nutritious). Orange juice in particular has been studied and has been found to decrease tooth hardness and roughen the surface of teeth, leaving them more prone to plaque and cavities.

How to Prevent Tooth Damage

Limiting consumption of fruit juice, and/or drinking juice diluted with water will decrease the amount of damage done by juice to teeth. Brushing regularly and particularly after drinking juice can help to control the levels of bacteria on teeth. Some experts recommend drinking juice with a straw to limit contact with teeth, and juice should never be held in or swished around the mouth before swallowing. Drinking juice quickly is better than sipping it over a longer period of time. Some studies have indicated that increased fluoride may help to lessen the effects of fruit juice on teeth, so use toothpaste with fluoride if possible.
Fruit juice has many beneficial qualities. However, switching to whole fruit, moderating fruit juice intake and otherwise limiting the exposure of teeth to fruit juice will help ensure that teeth stay healthy.

We encourage our patient’s to live a healthy lifestyle and remember.... moderation is the key to success!!

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Children,chores and responsibility!

This week’s blog is about children , chores and responsibility. We found an incredible article (thanks to Dr. Kelly Kirtland who is a pediatric dentist in Illinois) from Focus on The Family- “age Appropriate Chores”. This article has so many great things to think about! We often wonder sometimes as parent’s when our children are “mature” enough to do chores or just help out around the house. Well according to this article you can start the child “helping” at a very young age. This chart below is from the article- just look at how much even small children can be “trained” to do.

Ages 2 and 3

Personal chores

  • Assist in making their beds
  • Pick up playthings with your supervision
Family chores
  • Take their dirty laundry to the laundry basket
  • Fill a pet's water and food bowls (with supervision)
  • Help a parent clean up spills and dirt
  • Dust

Ages 4 and 5

Note: This age can be trained to use a family chore chart.
Personal chores
  • Get dressed with minimal parental help
  • Make their bed with minimal parental help
  • Bring their things from the car to the house
Family chores
  • Set the table with supervision
  • Clear the table with supervision
  • Help a parent prepare food
  • Help a parent carry in the lighter groceries
  • Match socks in the laundry
  • Answer the phone with parental assistance
  • Be responsible for a pet's food and water bowl
  • Hang up towels in the bathroom
  • Clean floors with a dry mop

The end result from all of our hard work as parents is well behaved children that can be somewhat self- sufficient and very helpful to adults.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

What is oral health?

Did you know that, in Canada, April is national oral health month? So what is oral health? The CDC defines oral health as “the practice of keeping the mouth, teeth, and gums clean and healthy to prevent disease. Dental hygiene and oral health are often taken for granted but are essential parts of our everyday lives.” Some countries routinely practice poor oral hygiene or have no “use for oral hygiene”. In America, we are so accustomed to being aware of our oral health that it almost becomes obsessive. However, that is a good thing for us dental professionals who love seeing our patients come in with a healthy, clean, and happy mouth! At Blue Orthodontics,  we help patients practice  good oral hygiene, emphasizing the areas of the teeth around braces. Invisalign is a nice alternative to braces for some patients. Invisalign moves teeth, like braces, and the Invisalign trays can be removed for eating and brushing. This dramatically eases hygiene. Visit to learn more about appliance choices.
So what is needed to start with a healthy foundation for your child? The CDC states,  “Proper tooth brushing is critically important to good dental hygiene.”  Parents can help their children practice proper tooth brushing by starting to clean teeth early, using the right amount of fluoride toothpaste, supervising teeth brushing, and talking to a dentist about a child’s specific fluoride needs. More information on caring for children’s teeth may be found at CDC’s Brush Up on Healthy Teeth pages. We are looking forward to seeing all those clean and healthy smiles! For more information on orthodontics or to answer any questions please visit us at

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Blue Orthodontics LOVES our community!

Welcome to the Blue Orthodontics blog. We are working diligently with our community schools. We know that our schools are struggling with budget cut backs and we are trying to help in areas that are needed. We had the pleasure of helping Roadrunner School with much needed items for Aims testing. We are also very excited to be involved with a community night at Greenway Middle School.  We will keep you all posted on the awesome upcoming things that Blue Orthodontics is planning for in our community!